If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime, you’ve been through a physically and emotionally draining experience. It can also be a financial drain with possible medical procedures, physical rehabilitation, lost wages, or property damages. Of course, the court can order the convicted criminal to pay for the victim’s medical costs, but this often isn’t enforced or limitations may be placed on damages. That’s when you might want to consider filing a civil suit with the help of an attorney in San Diego.
Protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL CASES
The legal system is made up of two different kinds of court proceedings: criminal and civil. Criminal cases occur when the state decides to bring charges against the defendant for committing a crime. Charges are only brought against a defendant when the state believes they have enough evidence to prove the defendant did commit the crime. The defendant will have the chance to plead guilty or not guilty, and if he pleads not guilty, the case will most likely go to trial, where a jury of his peers will decide his fate. After hearing evidence, the jury will deliberate and decide whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, he may face a variety of consequences including prison time, fines, community service, probation and so on. Even though the crime may have occurred between two people, for example, the defendant might have assaulted the victim, it is still considered an offense against society as a whole. This is why the state is responsible for leading criminal cases and not the victim.
Unlike criminal cases where a prosecutor will bring charges against the defendant, victims are in charge of initiating a civil suit against the defendant since the state is not involved in this type of legal proceeding. A civil case does not set out to prove whether the defendant is innocent or guilty, but rather whether the defendant owes the victim damages to cover expenses or pain and suffering. For example, if the defendant committed a hit and run which left the victim injured, the victim could take the defendant to civil court to receive compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Criminal cases hold the defendant accountable for the crime he has committed against society, but civil cases hold him accountable for the crime he has committed against the victim.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IN CIVIL COURT?
Defendants do not receive the same rights in criminal and civil courts. For example, defendants are given an attorney in criminal cases if they cannot afford to hire one on their own, but this is not the case in civil court. Defendants also do not have the same right to a trial by jury in a civil court. Many civil cases are decided by the presiding judge, not a jury of your peers.
It’s important to note the outcome of one case does not affect the outcome of another. For example, if the defendant was found not guilty in criminal court, this does not mean he will not be held liable in civil court, and vice versa. The two outcomes are completely independent of one another.
THE BENEFITS OF FILING A CIVIL SUIT
If you are a victim of a crime, what are the benefits of filing a civil suit against the person who committed the crime? There are many reasons why you and your loved ones may file a civil suit.
- Control. When the victim and his or her family are named in the suit, they can’t be excluded from the court. This can aid in the final approval of settlement proposals.
- Liability, Not Guilty. In a civil suit, the offender is tried for his or her liability in the crime against the victim.
- Restitution. Civil cases help victims recover monetary damages caused by the crime.
- A Sense of Closure. Victims and their loved ones may experience a sense of closure that criminal trials do not often provide.
If you are considering whether or not you should file a civil suit, contact the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Or, simply visit our website and fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.
YOUR PRIVACY MATTERS TO US
We can help keep victims’ names and contact information out of public records.
The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter are well aware of your desire for privacy. We can help keep victims’ names and contact information out of public records by filing under pseudonyms. We can also file cases “under seal,” which means they are closed to the public. If needed, we can also arrange to have depositions videotaped.
CRIME VICTIMS SHOULD SEEK QUALITY LEGAL REPRESENTATION
With past success representing crime victims, the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter can help you receive compensation for injuries received in an assault, sexual crime, domestic violence, or other crime. Even if the accused was never convicted, we can file a case. In the very sad situation of homicide or murder, we can file a wrongful death suit against the killer or another defendant on behalf of a parent, surviving spouse, or personal representative.
WHAT TYPES OF COMPENSATION CAN YOU RECOVER?
While no amount of money can turn back time, we can make sure you receive compensation for your injuries and expenses. These losses may include:
- Medical bills
- Dental bills
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages
- Attorney fees
- Retrofitting a home for disabled access
If you have been injured or otherwise affected by a crime, seek representation from the aggressive team of San Diego criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter.
GET PEACE OF MIND WITH THE HELP OF ELLIOTT KANTER
When you call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter, you’ll be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. We’re not a corporate firm; it’s simply our mission to help people like you in San Diego County. We have over 30 years of professional experience bringing justice to those who have been hurt in crimes involving felony theft, drug crimes, sex crimes, white-collar crimes, and other offenses. Give us a call today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Tell us your story, and we’ll get started right away.